Nadal Seeded #5 at Wimbledon? What the…?

OK….how crazy stupid is it that Nadal and Federer could meet in the quarters at Wimbledon?

Whenever there has been a seeding controversy over the past few decades, it has always been at Wimbledon. Why? Because the British hierarchy who run the show there still think that the sun doesn’t set on their empire and that Wimbledon is played on Mount Olympus. Many, many times they have disregarded rankings to seed players according to what they believed to be most ‘proper’ for their unique grass court event. Fine.

So what happened this year?!

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Is it not apparent to these stodgy old seeding masters that Nadal is currently the best player on earth right now? Did they not see that Roland Garros semi-final where Nadal was about to win the match in the fourth set, but brain-cramped as he frequently does when ahead, loses that set, then, falls behind a break in the fifth, and stills wins it 9-7? Was the win over Ferrer in the finals in straight sets not a signal to all that Nadal’s seven month exile did not hurt him? Ferrer, who is a great player, but is totally owned by the Fab Four, especially by Federer, who treats Ferrer like he was Cinderfella, is a great player but doesn’t deserve to be seeded in front of Nadal. What is wrong with these people?

Sure, to stop from getting criticized, the Wimbledon Committee came up with this grass court formula to better seed players for the event. The formula takes the players’ current ranking points total, adds to it 100 percent of points won on grass in the previous 12 months, then adds 75 percent of points earned at the player’s strongest grass court event in the 12 months before that. The problem is, that outside of the two weeks of prep tourneys just before Wimbledon, there are almost no other grass court events except for Newport, which hardly anyone plays. But this past year was different, because the Olympics was played on grass, as well as the prior warm-up event, both of which Nadal did not play. With his seven months hiatus, Nadal gets ZERO credit in this convoluted formula. To question whether or not Nadal’s results in his nine events entered, all of which he played the finals, winning seven out of nine, which were all played on clay, have no bearing on grass, is just ridiculous. Nadal has been to the Wimbledon Finals five times. FIVE TIMES! Since they switched to rye grass, the transition from clay to grass is no longer as great, and by the second week of the event, they are playing on dirt anyway. So why would they not throw-out the formula this year after comparing both Ferrer’s and Nadal’s respective records for this year, and their overall records at Wimbledon?

Somebody is going to need to explain this, especially with the amount of rain they get there. Anyone can see that there is going to be a botched-up schedule to come. Can you imagine Federer-Nadal, followed by the winner having to possibly play Murray the next day, and then the Finals, most likely against Djokovic—who is currently going orgasmic in his hotel room right now—with a clear and easy path to the Finals again, without another day of rest, because they are backed-up by rain?

Running of the Bulls

Running of the Bulls

With these four guys, Djokovic, Federer, Murray, and Nadal, in an almost exclusive club of Grand Slam finalists for the past 7-8 years, I predict that this is going to go down as the worst scripted Wimbledon in history because one side of the draw is a Pamplona Running of the Bulls, and the other side is the Yellow Brick Road to the Finals!

Da-lai Wu has been a professional tour coach, coaching both men and women, and a head collegiate coach, leading a men’s team to the NCAA DI Men’s National Championships. He has also been a partner, tennis director, or head professional at numerous indoor and outdoor facilities, and is currently working with a few very promising juniors and a couple of varsity collegiate players. A new company website is also currently being developed.

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2 thoughts on “Nadal Seeded #5 at Wimbledon? What the…?

  1. Roger

    A great take Da-Lai, on the insanity that must have precluded the seedings announcement at Wimbledon.

    Think about this… Nadal had not played since Wimbledon of last year due to injury (222 days), untill he played his first tournament, February of this year and lost in the finals. That’s one of only two losses for the year, as he stands currently at 43-2. Along the way he records his 22nd and 23rd ATP Masters 1000 Tournament wins, which is currently the record, on his way to 7 Championships & counting for the year.

    Now factor in that he ‘sat out’ this years Australian Open and it’s mind-boggling that he LEADS in total earnings, and has more than double the earnings of everyone Ranked above him, except for #1 Novak!

    I’m sure many tennis fans are saying poor Rafa…. but as Mister T would say, “I pity tha fool that’s in Rafas bracket”, as I suspect Uncle Tony will make sure Rafa is playing with a ‘chip on his shoulder’ till Rafa kisses the Championship Trophy once more”

  2. Robert Zinna (@rczinna)

    Don’t know that I buy this as the article’s pointing out that Wimbledon switched to rye grass precisely to placate the clay courters is what the real problem is. Tennis has become boring because all four majors are rewarding long marathon battles of attrition, which is why the same four pretenders are in every semi-final. Wimbledon needs to return to fast courts and fast balls and you’d quickly see guys like Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray occasionally get their come uppance by being overpowered or served off the court by a “dangerous floater” or two. Nadal’s status in the game is exaggerated since as the article also pointed out, there is no grass court season, not to mention that indoor carpet and best of three are not even measured by the majors. Nadal can win his 25% majors a year on clay and then dominate the clay court season simply by virtue of fitness and his boring one dimensional top spin game, yet there is NO corresponding fast court season to equalize the playing field. 5 sets and slow court tennis including the gummy hard courts at the Australian and the US Open is why Nadal has his exalted status in the game, his wins at Wimbledon coming by virtue of Wimbledon caving to the pressure for conformity, never mind that players like Goran and Federer have much more exciting and diverse games than the boring Nadal, with spins other than top spin, better reflexes, coming to the net occasionally and riskier shotmaking.


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